The Way We Live Now: Waving goodbye to Mr. Nice Guy. In the good old days, we were free to shoplift without being beaten to death, and to live in the suburbs without being eaten by coyotes. No more.

Some lady in China shoplifted a few things from the Wal-Mart—wait, she was suspected of shoplifting and wouldn't show a receipt—so the store's security team sensibly beat her to death right there in the parking lot. Shoplifting adds to the cost that you, the consumer, pay. Think about it.

In Harlem, a man won $168 million in the lottery. Across the bridge in Brooklyn, another man surrendered to authorities after his 30-year old Ponzi scheme—secretly invested in real estate and porn—collapsed to the tune of $60 million.

Do these two men represent some sort of meaningful economic yin and yang, a subtle cosmic sign that our nation's fortunes are once again balancing out? It's an interesting question, and it would be easier to answer if it wasn't for one thing: You live in Yorba Linda, California, and you are under attack from wild coyotes. They're hungry, you see, like many Americans, and they've come to the fat, overconsumption-soaked suburbs, to eat your pets. Not having a pet saves you, the consumer, money. Think about it.

Or don't. Because hey, did you buy gold in April, when we told you to? If you didn't you are one sad sack, because gold prices are up to more than $1,000 per ounce now. If you did invest, though, can we have a loan? Crime doesn't pay as well as it used to.
[Pic via]